Once you have achieved financial independence, what happens next?
I’ll be honest. During all those years dreaming about financial independence… freedom from work… I never thought much about what would happen AFTER I achieved it.
I suppose I had the usual culturally programmed ideas– retire to a tropical island and do nothing….
Turns out that is nice for a while.. and then it becomes quite boring! I’ve lived as a traveling tourists. I’ve semi-retired on a tropical island. And I’ve had my share of lazy doing nothing.
It was fun. It was energizing.
But once energized, I found myself itching to channel that energy into meaningful activity…. A Mission!
What most people deeply crave, I believe, is not laziness but purpose. The reason we hate our jobs is that they have no meaning for us. Most jobs are monotonous forms of wage-slavery. You put in your time- doing work for someone else’s mission (which usually means you are working to make someone else rich).
Of course that is demoralizing. Of course it is boring. Of course we hate it (those of us who still have at least a shred of dignity and self-respect left).
Of course all we dream of is freedom. That’s what (wage) slaves dream about. They dream about escape. For a slave, it’s hard to imagine what will come AFTER freedom… because freedom feels so far away.
I have found, however, that the real work begins after achieving freedom. That’s when you really have to figure out what you want to do, what you want to contribute, what kind of life you want to live, who you want to spend time with, where you want to channel your energy.
After freedom, you usually have to seek out and CHOOSE your challenges. You realize that challenge and difficulty were never the problem.. that in fact they are vital and necessary and energizing– WHEN THEY ARE MEANINGFUL.
At this point in my life, a whole lot of my energy is directed towards deliberately seeking out difficult challenges that are interesting and/or meaningful.
My focus is on choosing and living a mission,… rather than on a life of ease.